Casín cheese is a one-of-a-kind cheese because of its unusual production process. This cheese, which takes its name from Caso, an Asturian town in the Redes Natural Park, has a unique and intense flavour. It is made from raw cow’s milk and considered to be one of the oldest cheeses in Europe. Its exact origin remains unknown, but it is believed to be one of the oldest cheeses in Spain, or even in the world. This fact is proved not only by written documents dating back to the 14th century, but also by the unusual technique of kneading the curd.
This artisan cheese is made by women, using traditional methods. The painstaking skill, love and care with which it is produced has been passed down through generations of women from the region. This process starts ‘when the milk is at the same temperature as blood’, in other words, 37 °C is the ideal temperature to start the curdling, which is carried out by hand. After the drying, which lasts around two weeks, the curd is kneaded with a special hand-operated rolling machine and shaped to form pieces called gorollos. This process can be repeated several times.
The taste of the Casín cheese depends on the production process, particularly the number of times that the curd is kneaded in the rolling machine: cheeses that are kneaded more will have a stronger, spicier flavour; whereas with less kneading, the flavours are similar, but less intense. In both cases, the flavour is strong, full and spicy, leaving a lingering, slightly bitter taste. On a cheese board, the Casín cheese, with its strong smell and taste, should be kept for the end.